Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

Creamy Dill Salmon TurnoversYesterday the first delivery of longline halibut hit our city dock, Bronson began tearing apart the Hynautic’s to replace their gaskets, and I hung net.

Hanging Nets.jpgMy friend Sarah Grace is a freelance photographer who is working a project documenting net work by residents here in Dillingham this spring. Her recent Instagram post of a local elder just makes my heart so proud and I can’t wait to see more as the project progresses! Last night she swung by while I was working, snapped a few photos of me hanging a lead line for one of our gillnets, and graciously said I could share them here.

Hanging the Lead Line.jpgThe light was perfect in our net locker and I just love how she captured one of my favorite spring fishing tasks. Our crew is slated to arrive at the end of this month, among net work and boat projects, they plan to build new bunks in our work shed and complete a few other creature comforts that have been neglected in years past. I am excited to have our yard bustling again and to see faces of friends who are dear to my heart arrive back in the Bay. I am eagerly anticipating tired hands, preseason night time mountain summits, and the big meals I know I will make.

Turnover FillingAmong the those in constant rotation in our small home boat yard are these Creamy Dill Salmon Turnovers. They are filling, hearty, and a sure to win crowd pleaser. You can make individual turnovers as the recipe instructs or simply roll out the dough into one large calzone size turnover, bake until golden, then slice and share.

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So much of our life revolves around salmon and it is a topic I write about often here on Set the Net, on my Instagram and in other articles. I hope to document more of the season this summer photographically and in my writing – is there anything you would like to see? Or eat?

Salmon Turnovers being filled

If you’d like to see more on hanging gillnets here is a video clip of me hanging the corkline from several years ago here on Set the Net.

My friend Kai Raymond also has a gorgeous Instagram and website of photos from Bristol Bay on the water and around the boatyard in Dillingham, with several fantastic shots of net work/fishing.

I also just love this Spring postcard from Cordova on Edible Alaska’s website, Casey from the F/V Clean Sweep says “Net mending, like motherhood, is a practice in the art of patience and intention as well as the understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” ….. How true, thats just speaks to my soul.  The Copper River salmon fishery will begin May 17th and just the thought of fresh fish has me dreaming!

Creamy Dill Salmon TurnoverThe jumping off point for this salmon recipe was taught to me by my friend Charlotte, a now Cordova resident, a master in the kitchen, and an original tutor of mine when it comes to subsistence cooking. She calls her version Chum in a Blanket. Although any species of salmon performs excellently in these turnovers, my personal favorite (and Charlotte’s as well) is chum. Chum salmon’s mild flavor shines when paired with creamy dill sauce and tangy, sharp cheddar. These turnovers can even be made ahead, frozen, and then baked.

Creamy Dill Salmon Turnovers (Serves 4)
(This Set the Net recipe was originally published in Spring 2018 Edible Alaska Magazine
You’ll Need:
for the dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, diced
  • 1 cup fresh buttermilk
for the filling and creamy dill sauce
  • 1 skinless, boneless salmon fillet cut into four equal pieces (approximately 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups kale, chard, or spinach roughly chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill minced or 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • juice of one whole lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Make:

Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large skillet melt butter for the filling and sauté diced onion until translucent. Toss in chopped greens and garlic, and cook until greens are wilted and reduced in volume by about half.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, and lemon juice. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and dill. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingertips until mixture forms pea-sized pieces or smaller, creating a coarse meal.

Using a fork, stir in buttermilk until the mixture is moistened, finishing with your hands to fully incorporate, if needed.

Form dough into four equally sized balls. On a well-floured surface roll to form rectangular shapes of roughly 6 x 8 inches. Place a portion of salmon in the center of the bottom half of each of the rectangles. Top each piece of salmon with a quarter of the sautéed vegetables, dill sauce, and shredded cheese. Leave a border of about 1 inch on the outer sides of dough. Fold top half of dough rectangle over the filling and pinch to seal edges.

Vent the top with the tip of a sharp knife or fork in a few places.

Bake for 30 minutes until the crust of each turnover is golden brown, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Serve hot.

Note: Turnovers can be frozen prior to baking, if vacuumed sealed, for up to six months and baked directly from freezer for an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

Creamy Dill Salmon Turnovers

In the meantime you can find me here….

Hanging the lead line

Thanks Sarah Grace!

2 thoughts on “Creamy Dill Salmon Turnovers + Net Work

  1. Wow this is making me so hungry! (:

    1. SusieBrito says:

      That’s a good thing, give it a try!

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